OPENING: 2010 SVA MFA Photo, Video & Related Media - THESIS EXHIBITION

It's hard to believe that a year ago was my SVA MFA Thesis show. Tonight is the opening for this year's crop of artists. I'm looking forward to seeing how their work developed over their Thesis year of school.

Hopefully, I'll see you at the show tonight. Also, be sure to check out this year's Thesis web site at:

This years' thesis exhibition features the work of:


June 11th-26th

Opening Reception Tuesday, June 15th 6-8pm

Gallery Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10AM-5PM

Visual Arts Gallery 601 W 26h Street, Suite 1502 New York, NY View Map

Our awkward program name – photography, video, and related media – is becoming ever more apt. This year, the thesis show includes photographic prints, videos, multi-media installations, sculpture and oil paintings. With the swift advance of digital technology, students are using still or moving images merely as points of departure to invent a wide array of forms. Željka Blaskic, for example, produces a five-channel video installation inspired by her childhood in war-torn Croatia. Jan Ebeling (aka Janosch Parker) commissions oil paintings based on photographs of his witty performances. Irene Bermudez combines projected images, freestanding sculpture and a neon sign to create an immersive environment meant to evoke bodily sensations. Allyson Ross creates sculptural reliefs devoid of color based on iconic nineteenth-century photographs of Yosemite National Park. And John Messinger installs a small historical exhibit based on the life of a homeless man. These results and others are exciting to behold and, I confess, daunting for a curator trying to make visual or conceptual order from it all.

If there is an overall trend, it is the trust that students place in personal experience. Robert Gill, for example, embraces the obsession with fitness in our culture. Selena Salfen explores the crushing effects of post-traumatic stress disorder through the history of her own family. Tamar Latzman investigates themes from Jewish-European history by inventing memories of dreams and performing them for the camera. And Laura Oberg explores race in America by interviewing members of her mixed-race family. It may be that the confessional turn of our culture – much enhanced by social networking media – explains the willingness of students to reveal themselves in their work. But the students are not self-centered; they look inward in order to look outward. Growing up with the caveats of identity politics and challenges to the objectivity of representation, our students no longer feel at home with the relatively simple norms of documentary or straight photography. Instead, each student invents a new strategy for using images to make art.

–Bonnie Yochelson Curator

Tonight, Opening: Johanna Heldebro: To Come Within Reach of You

Johanna Heldebro, "Night Watch chapter 4 excerpt," 2009

2009 Fall Solo Show Artist
Johanna Heldebro Presents

To Come Within Reach of You
December 18, 7 to 10 p, Free Admission & Drinks

Johanna Heldebro presents images and video documenting the daily life of her father, who disappeared from her life two years prior. After searching his name on the internet, Heldebro travels to Stockholm, Sweden to obsessively follow him, creating a series that refigures comfortable notions of adult identity. Join us for this compelling body of work that is at time as coldly detached as it is uncomfortably personal.

Complimentary Bear Flag Wine & Colt 45. Music from DJ Tanner.


On display through December 27.

More images from Johanna Heldebro's series:

Johanna Heldebro, "Finding My Way Inside chapter 2 excerpt," 2009

Johanna Heldebro, "Finding My Way Inside chapter 2 excerpt," 2009

Johanna Heldebro, "Autonomy chapter 5 excerpt," 2009

Dueling Lectures, September 17, 2009

There are at least 3 competing Lectures tonight. They are all battling for me to attend who will win...

In this corner, the Chairman of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media at School of Visual Arts...

Burlington, VT, 1990, Pigment print. Copyright Charles H. Traub, Courtesy Gitterman Gallery

Charles Traub
The Camera Club of New York Lecture series.

Thursday, September 17th 7pm
The School of Visual Arts Amphitheatre
209 E. 23rd Street (2nd and 3rd avenues), 3rd Floor
(please bring photo ID)

Book signing and sale to follow the lecture.

Free to CCNY members, SVA students, faculty, and staff
General admission $10, $5 for other students with valid student ID

Charles Traub will be speaking about two of his projects: In the Still Life, his most recent book; and his forthcoming one, Still Life in America: Looking at US. He describes his work as such, ”Real world witness is my concern and for one such as me, the road and the street are the muse. Whether standing on the street corner or on the road trip, it is the great irony and humor inherent in the human condition. To record such is the great delight of my life.“

Mr. Traub is Chair of MFA Photography, Video and Related Media, School of Visual Arts in New York City, the largest independent college of art in the United States. He holds an MS from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a BA degree from the University of Illinois. He was formerly the director of the prestigious Light Gallery of New York. He is President of the Aaron Siskind Foundation for support of creative photography. He is one of the co founders of Here is New York, a Democracy of Photographs, which received the Brendan Gill Award of the Municipal Arts Society, Cornell Capa Infinity Award, and a Distinguished Service Award from the Children‘s Aid Society of New York. He has had numerous one-person exhibitions including Marcus Pfeifer Gallery, Van Straaten Gallery, Art Directors Guild of New York, Chicago Center for Contemporary Photography, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Light Gallery and the Hudson River Museum. His work is currently represented by the Tom Gitterman Gallery in New York. Mr. Traub has authored and edited many books including Beach, Italy Observed, and Angler‘s Album, and has had his work published in Connoisseur, Fortune, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, American Photographer, Popular Photography, Aperture, and Afterimage. He has received awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, Hendrecks Foundation, Illinois Art Council, Manda Foundation, Olympics Arts Organization Committee, and the Mary McDowell Center for Learning. His textbook In the Realm of Circuit was published by Prentice Hall in the spring of 2003. In the Still Life, a monograph of his recent color photography, was published in September 2004. He recently co-edited the book Education of a Photographer.

And in this corner...

Words Without Pictures presents

Confounding Expectations VI: Photography in Context

Thursday, September 17, 2009 7 pm

FREE Admission

Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street, New York City

Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis

This first event celebrates the launch of the innovative Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) book project Words Without Pictures, which documents roughly one year of conversations about the most pressing issues shaping contemporary photography.


CHARLOTTE COTTON is the Curator and Head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Previously, she was the Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum (1992-2004). She is the author and editor of books, including Imperfect Beauty: the making of contemporary fashion photographs (2000), and The Photograph as Contemporary Art (2004). Charlotte will be returning to London later in the fall to take up a new position of creative director of the London space of the National Media Museum, which will open in 2012.


DENISE WOLFF is a photobook editor, known for her work with both contemporary and historic photography. She recently joined Aperture from Phaidon Press. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to work on many beautiful books with the world’s top photographers, including Mary Ellen Mark, Martin Parr, Eugene Richards, and Stephen Shore to name a few.

MATT KEEGAN is an artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. His work has been exhibited at venues such as Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; Anna Helwing Gallery, Los Angeles; D'Amelio Terras, New York; White Columns, New York; and Wallspace Gallery, New York in collaboration with Leslie Hewitt. He is co-founder and publisher of the annual publication North Drive Press.

ALEX KLEIN is an artist based in Los Angeles and the editor of Words Without Pictures. In Spring 2007, she co-organized with James Welling the conference Around Photography at the Hammer Museum. She is currently the Ralph M. Parsons Curatorial Fellow in the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and an adjunct faculty member at the USC Roski School of Fine Arts.

With special guests Fia Backstrom, Johanna Burton, Melissa Catanese, Sarah Charlesworth, Moyra Davey, Darius Himes, John Lehr, Miranda Lichtenstein, Arthur Ou, Ed Panar and Laurel Ptak.

The lecture series is presented with generous support from the Kettering Family Foundation and the Henry Nias Foundation. The program is made possible in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

More info at the New School website here

And lastly,

At the SVA Theatre

Dave Hickey: The God Ennui

Thursday, September 17, 7pm

Writer and educator Dave Hickey is the author of two highly regarded collections of critical essays, The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty (Art Issues Press, 1993); Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy (Art Issues Press, 1998) and the forthcoming Pagan America (Simon and Schuster, 2010). He was the recipient of a 2001 MacArthur Fellowship, and is currently Schaeffer Professor of Modern Letters at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Presented by the MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department.

SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street
Free and open to the public

Who will win my attention? I don't even know yet!

Although afterwards I will surly be trying to attend this Blind Spot related event:

From SLRs to disposables to digital cameras to PDAs, the photographic image is more prolific than at any point since the medium'

Rizzoli International and Ken Miller invite you to join us in celebrating
the publication of

New Museum of Contemporary Art
Thursday September 17, 7-9pm

SHOOT is a collection of 'photography of the moment' by Stephen Shore, Nan
Goldin, Walter Pfeiffer, Boris Mikhailov, Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen
Teller, Mark Borthwick, Ari Marcopoulos, Hiromix, Glynnis McDaris, Linus
Bill, Jason Nocito, Yurie Nagashima, Tim Barber, Peter Sutherland, JH
Engstrom, Dash Snow, Kenneth Cappello, Louise Enhorning, Michael
Schmelling, Nacho Alegre, Ola Rindal, Paul Schiek, Madi Ju, Jaimie Warren
and Thomas Jeppe.

"From SLRs to disposables to digital cameras to PDAs, the photographic
image is more prolific than at any point since the medium's inception.
Whether working in personal documentary, editorial, fine art or fashion,
the photographers in SHOOT share a democratic, emotionally intuitive
approach to picture-taking that reflects an era in which we increasingly
use ephemeral images to define our own lives."

SHOOT includes a foreword by legendary photographer Stephen Shore, in
addition to a critical essay by professor Penny Martin (of pioneering
fashion site and the London College of Fashion) with a
historical overview by editor Ken Miller (Revisionaries; A Decade of Art in